November 21, 2011
Lt John Pike, mustached UC Davis campus police officer, now finds himself the subject of the "Casually Pepper Spraying Cop" meme, where the nonchalant Pike is inserted into famous works of art such as the "The Creation of Adam," "The Scream," and yes, the cover of "Sgt Pepper." [more inside]
One of the biggest stars of TV and movies talks about his 30-year career, his relationship with Jim Henson, and his brand new movie. Jian Ghomeshi talks to Kermit the Frog, on the video version of Ghomeshi's radio show, Q. Unfortunately, you have to put up with some ads before and during the interview.
“Someone who is exceptional in their role is not just a little better than someone who is pretty good,” Mark Zuckerberg said recently. “They are 100 times better.” Bull hockey, says Bill Taylor in the Harvard Business Review: great people are overrated. See also Great People are Overrated, II and Malcolm Gladwell's 2002 take on the same theme, The Talent Myth.
Mars Rover Spirit's Entire Journey on Mars (A time lapse)
Protesters in Cairo have re-occupied Tahrir square. As the military brutally suppresses protests with live ammunition and tear gas that has left at least 33 dead and two thousand injured, Egypt's interim cabinet has offered its resignation a week before elections were due to begin. Telegraph liveblog | Al Jazeera liveblog
Although [Michael] Mann has said he was inspired by a true story from Chicago in the late 1960s, the film is no gritty realist number about desperate thievery. Rather, HEAT is a high-gloss creature of its time, utilizing the classic "duel between cop and robber"... to thematize lifestyle issues in the mid-1990s. Specifically I argue that, for all its slickness and emphasis on style and personality, HEAT is a film about work and its increasing personal costs. For the characters in HEAT, work provides excitement* and challenge, but it ultimately excludes any emotional life outside of the demands of the job. *That's the shootout scene
As the encore for their 12th annual moe.down Festival in Mohawk, NY, the band members of the festival's namesake, moe., paid tribute to the recently-deceased Steve Jobs by performing their song Crab Eyes ... entirely on iPads. [more inside]
Scientists have found that people with synesthesia, a condition wherein people have strong links between sensory experiences (such as hearing music as colours, or recalling a particular taste with a strong visual memory), may be caused by neural overstimulation in the visual cortex. The original paper (abstract and full text in pdf): Enhanced Cortical Excitability in Grapheme-Color Synesthesia and Its Modulation [more inside]
Emory University English professor Mark Bauerlein (previously) argues that the majority of research by literary academics has no meaningful value. [more inside]
John Neville, best known for an array of theatre roles, with legions of fans for his portrayal of Baron Munchausen in Terry Gilliam's movie and "the well-manicured man" in the X-Files, has died.
Jeremy Thorn is an abusive, hard-drinking gaijin who will teach you Japanese while verbally berating you. He and his friends will also get drunk and teach you how to cook Japanese food in a similarly abusive fashion. Then he'll take you on a tour of weird Japanese signage, sights, and stuff. (note: MLYT; a lot of swearing is involved) [more inside]
A short guide to lazy EU journalism: not sure how the EU works or what institutions are involved? –> Just write “Brussels”. [more inside]
Atlas Obscura provides a Guide to Communist Mummies, and there's plenty more online. Visit Lenin's Mausoleum, where he has been kept since 1924, defying his wishes to be buried next to his mother in St. Petersburg. He wasn't alone forever, as Stalin's body was kept in the mausoleum after his death in 1953, until his body was quietly removed in October, 1961. Just under eight years later, Hồ Chí Minh died, and against his wishes to be cremated, a very large state funeral was held and Uncle Ho's embalmed remains were placed in a mausoleum. Chairman Mao Zedong made A Proposal that all Central Leaders be Cremated after Death in 1956, but his wishes were overlooked when he died in 1976, and he joined the growing ranks of the preserved communist leaders in his own crystal casket, housed in a grand mausoleum. [more inside]
Over 40 million Americans move in a year, creating a huge amount of internal migration. In this wonderful interactive map you can see the flows of population by county and year in America. Four experts comment on the map ("The Human Capital Swap-meet," "Vibrant Flux," "Reversing Flows," and "New Patterns?"). In more detail, the Census has a report on the latest geographic flows, and the Migration Policy Institute has terrific data on the population flows of immigrants. And, for a more international view, the map of cities that attract the most outside residents is also really interesting.
Indian talent show Warriors of Goja SLYT
Larry Munson, the legendary voice of the Georgia Bulldogs, died yesterday at the age of 89. [more inside]
Trevor Paglen (aka Agent Plorver) has work featured in Belgium's z33 House for Contemporary Art's current exhibit, Architecture of Fear. Paglen's work includes tracking and photographing 189 classified American satellites in orbit around Earth as well as locating and photographing US-run 'black sites' in Afghanistan. We Make Money Not Art (previously w/r/t Architecture of Fear) sits down with Paglen over Skype for an interview.
Maria Popova may be the best curator of Awesome on the Internet after the blue's own hivemind. Her site, Brain Pickings, has been mentioned a few times, but no-one appears to have pointed out her Twitter feed or her contributions to TBWA's tumblr, Curiosity Counts. Some recent posts of note: a piece on digital parasitism and the business of culture, Terry Prachett's self-documentary Choosing To Die, her selection of the best children's and picture books of 2011. Also, the best of Brain Pickings from last week and 2010. When not doing all that, she's writing for several magazines, organising the effort to restock the Brookyn OWS library after its destruction by police, and curating physical objects, sent as gifts every quarter.
El Acordéon del Diablo is a captivating documentary about Francisco "Pacho" Rada Batista, the great Colombian accordionist and singer-songwriter. In this film, Pacho Rada, in his nineties, tells stories and reflects on celebrity, copyright, tradition and the shortcomings of pop music. His stories include a shipwreck that left a boatload of accordions washed up on a Colombian beach and an accordion duel with the devil himself. In ten parts: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
If you're looking for some uplifting dance music to help you get your week going, Goldroom's Otoño Mix 2011 is a very soulful nu-disco collection that pairs nicely with The Magician's Magic Tape Sixteen. Need something with more energy? Edwin van Cleef's November mix is a bit more hands in the air, perfectly suited for the elimination of afternoon doldrums. [more inside]
Around the World in 80 Days is a BBC television travel series first broadcast in 1989. It was presented by comedian and actor Michael Palin.The show was inspired by Jules Verne's classic novel Around the World in Eighty Days, in which a character named Phileas Fogg accepts a wager to circumnavigate the globe in eighty days or less. Palin was given the same deadline... Here's Episode 1 - The Challenge. [more inside]
Australian legislation mandating tobacco products are sold in plain packaging today passed the last hurdle today with plain packaging becoming a reality by December 2012. Some had misgivings, some disagree that plain packaging will be an effective deterrent; while some believe it will be counter-productive, while others take a different view.